County judge puts Augusta alderman back on council

AUGUSTA - Fifth Ward City Councilman Ken Hicks was reinstated to the Augusta City Council by the ruling of Eau Claire County Judge John Manydeeds back on June 7. He resumed his duties in the city council for its June meeting which was held on the 14th at City Hall.

Hicks had filed suit against the city in May. He claimed to the court that Mayor Jason TePaske had reportedly pressured him to resign in April of this year after he reportedly got into a confrontation with a couple in Augusta that same month. This confrontation reportedly involved him displaying a weapon after he followed and accused them of reckless driving which he claimed nearly struck his vehicle.

According to the court record, Hicks reportedly signed a letter TePaske had written about his resignation from the council but not an official document of resignation from the council after changing his mind, which Manydeeds cited as his reason for ruling in favor his reinstatement.

Hicks is being represented by former Augusta mayor and alderman Delton Thorson.

Hicks was cited for misdemeanor disorderly conduct and the use of a dangerous weapon incident which took place on April 17. The case is still pending with a status update scheduled for Aug. 1 according to the court website. The case was originally filed on May 4.

Hicks resumed his duties on the council in the June meeting. The council unanimously approved the Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (CORP), construct permanent cement burnout pad in the Buckman Street
Municipal parking lot; approved the annual garbage hauler’s permit application for the period of July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023; tabled a proposal increasing rents on city owned properties; approve a resolution to put notices for snow, ice, rubbish removal, control of weeds, grasses and fees on residents' water bill; approve all liquor, cigarette and bartender licenses.

The council had a special meeting on May 25 where it discussed the Well No. 11 project. Project is being financed, in part, by Department of Natural Resources Safe Drinking Water Loan Program (DNR, SDWLP) which is administered by the Department of Administration (DOA). The current interest rate is 2.035 percent. In-order to ensure that the City’s water utility revenue will be adequate to repay the DNR’s Safe Drinking Water Loan the council adopted the Public Service Commission’s (PSC) Step II water rate increase unanimously.

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